Florida State wide receiver Kelvin Benjamin is too slow. He’s too old. He drops too many passes. He’s not a great route runner. He’s overweight. Did I miss anything? Now that I have acknowledged all of his warts, it’s only fair to also talk about his positives.
Kelvin Benjamin makes plays and he makes plays inside the red zone.
During his recent Pro Day, the Pittsburgh Steelers seemed to be very interested in Benjamin as not only were they spotted talking to him throughout the day, they also had dinner with him Tuesday night.
Many feel that drafting Benjamin with the 15th overall selection is a reach and those same people also believe there is no way he last until the second round. In other words, the Steelers will need to move down in round one or possibly up in round two to draft him.
We’ll see how it plays out, but for several weeks now we’ve been hearing how the Steelers “intend” on drafting quarterback Ben Roethlisberger a “tall” wide receiver. Benjamin is “tall” and he uses that to his advantage. He’s a mismatch inside the red zone.
Last season, Roethlisberger had 18 red zone touchdown passes and 8 of those went to veteran wide receiver Jerricho Cotchery, who was one of the tallest wide receivers on the roster last season outside of Derek Moye, who also caught one of those 18.
Five of the remaining nine red zone touchdown catches from last year went to Emmanuel Sanders and he’s now a member of the Denver Broncos.
Antonio Brown caught 110 passes for a franchise record 1,499 yards last season. He also had eight touchdown receptions of which only one came inside the red zone.
Last year, Benjamin was thrown to 12 times inside the red zone and of the seven balls that he caught, all seven were touchdowns. Unless you think that Cotchery, who currently remains unsigned, can duplicate his output from last season, the Steelers are going to have to draft a player that can score inside the red zone. Benjamin might very well end up being that player.
Below are animated gifs of all of Benjamin’s touchdown catches from last season to spice up the conversation.